Venice: November 1516

Pages 333-339

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 2, 1509-1519. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1867.

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November 1516

Nov. 1. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 104. 800. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
That day, at the hour of high mass, the King and the Imperial and Spanish ambassadors assembled, together with the Cardinals [of York and Sion] and a few members of the Privy Council, in a small chapel where the King usually heard mass. Each of those who had to swear read the nine clauses of the league, and took oath for their observance. The articles were not published. The league was contracted between the Emperor, the King Catholic, and King Henry, for the defence and recovery of their respective states. The Emperor was to descend into Italy with the Cardinal of Sion and 6,000 Switzers, besides Germans, amounting in all to 22,000 men, who were to attack the Milanese. The King Catholic was to send 800 spears, 800 light cavalry, and 6,000 infantry into the Vicentine and Veronese territories, to prevent the Venetian army from succouring that of France in the duchy of Milan. 22,000 Switzers were to invade Burgundy. The King of England was to cross over in great force. Place reserved for the Pope and the Switzers.
Could learn nothing from Chieregato, who said he was under oath not to reveal the articles. The Lords said they should have eight of the Swiss cantons. They could, however, only have five, if the statement of the French envoy to Albany was correct, as the French King had thirteen in his favour. Most likely England could not reckon upon any, as no envoy was come to swear in the name of the cantons. It was probably the same with the Pope, whose envoy was daily expected, for his arrival would doubtless have been awaited, if the Pope had intended to sign.
Money was being remitted in all shapes, both by bills of exchange and in cash; some mules laden with coin were being sent off. The amount was not rated above 100,000 ducats, but funds sufficient for the undertaking would probably be remitted before the spring, as it was stated that the King of England would pay for all. Sion would depart in two or three days.
Some German lords of great account were come to London on their way to the shrine of St. James of Galicia. In the course of conversation, they said with some regret, that the Emperor was more to blame than the Signory for this war, but they complained that a work had been printed at Venice in abuse of the Emperor. Prevailed on an English gentleman to make them an apology in his (Giustinian's) name. Could not appoint an interview with them, as it would have made the King suspicious.
London, 1st November 1516.
[Italianpages, or 83 lines.]
Nov. 1. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 105. 801. Sebastian Giustinian to the Council of Ten.
The Lords had promised to give 500,000 crowns for the Italian and Burgundian expeditions. The Papal nuncio said that no fixed sum had been specified: England was to furnish funds for the whole campaign. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of Winchester, and the Duke of Suffolk, who usually discussed State affairs, were not present at this conclusion; a fact which had caused universal dissatisfaction, the inference being that the Cardinal of York was the beginning, middle, and end of this result.
Sion had assured the King that Galeazo Visconte, the King's agent with the Switzers, had appropriated upwards of 100,000 crowns of the money destined for the Switzers. Sion had shown writings from the Swiss captains, proving this, to the son-in-law of Galeazo (Anchises Visconte), who was in London, and would be dismissed; (fn. 1) the like being done by Galeazo himself, who was all-powerful with the Swiss, and might, if gained over by the King of France, reconcile to him all the cantons. Galeazo would not lose their favour, as he could attribute this calumny to Sion's enmity towards him.
The nuncio had stated that the moneys sent to the Switzers and the Emperor amounted to 600,000 crowns, besides the last remittances.
London, 1st November 1516.
[Italian, 2 pages, or 53 lines.]
Nov. 6. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiii. p. 112. 802. Giovanni Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
Information received by him from the Lord Steward of France. The Catholic King would not deceive King Francis, and was desirous of peace between the Signory and the Emperor. The King of England had written to the Catholic King, that the most Christian King would not give him the 60,000 francs, the annual revenue of his sister Mary, widow of the late King Lewis. King Henry therefore requested the Catholic King to assist him to obtain the sum due. On the matter being discussed in Council, some of the councillors wished to aid the King of England, saying it would not invalidate the treaty of Noyon; but the Catholic King replied that he would not oppose the most Christian King.
Nov. 7. Misti Consiglio X. v. xl. p. 130. 803. The Council of Ten and Junta to the Ambassador Giustinian in England.
Announce receipt, on the preceding day at noon, through the ambassador in France, of his letters of the 24th October, and duplicates of those of the 11th and 16th down to the 22nd, the originals of which had not come to hand.
Are of opinion that he has used both prudence and diligence, as well in ascertaining the negotiations between the Cardinal of Sion and King Henry, as in notifying them to the State, To continue addressing his letters through the ambassador in France, as they are forwarded speedily. The information transmitted by him is important, and consistent with the execrable nature and disposition of the Cardinal of Sion. The progress and victory of the Turk, (fn. 2) which continue to be confirmed, were so great, that the enemy might soon draw near even to England. Nothing new under Verona. The armies of France and Venice in the same positions, preventing supplies and blockading the city in such wise, that they hope for a good and speedy result. The soldiers within suffer from scarcity of food and money, though Carriati, by most cruel acts of extortion, obtains some little from the citizens and populace by announcing the hourly arrival of the Emperor.
[Italian, 27 lines.]
Nov. 7. Misti Consiglio X. v. xl. p. 130. 804. Council of Ten and Junta to the Proveditor General Griti, under Verona.
Transmit copies of letters written by them to the ambassador in France, and of those received from Sebastian Giustinian in England, that they may be shown to Monsr. de Lautrec.
Nov. 10. Misti Consiglio X. v. xl. p. 132. 805. The Council of Ten to the Proveditor General Griti.
Announcement made to the Venetian ambassador in France by King Francis, that he chose Mons. de Lautrec to do his utmost to take Verona.
Desire him to deter Mons. de Lautrec from withdrawing his troops and marching them into the Brescian territory, as otherwise the enemies of France and the Signory might both gain the Switzers, and persuade the King of England and others to do what they desire.
Ayes, 17. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 63 lines.]
Nov. 10. Misti Consiglio X. v. xl. p. 132. 806. The Council of Ten to the Ambassador in France.
The proposal made by Mons. de Lautrec for quartering his men-at-arms in the Brescian territory will impede the treaty for the surrender of Verona, and facilitate the evil designs of the enemies of France and the Signory, in England, Switzerland, and Spain.
[Italian, 43 lines.]
Nov. 13. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 106. 807. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
The Cardinal of Sion departed on the 8th. The King made him a handsome present, worth 3,000 ducats. From the Cardinal of York he received a gift worth 1,000. He was going to the King Catholic, and would remain with him about a fortnight, to carry the new treaty into effect.
Visited Wolsey that day (the 13th). Found him in an orchard near his dwelling. Both being on horseback, the Cardinal asked for news. Imparted to him the Turkish news received from Badoer [the ambassador] in France. Said it was to be feared lest the Turk should make peace with the Soldan [of Egypt] and the Sophy [of Persia], or prove victorious in the present expedition. Alluded also to the Turkish armada.
The Cardinal replied, ho perceived the peril threatened to Christendom, but King Henry had provided a remedy by establishing a confederacy with the Pope, the Emperor, the King Catholic, and the Switzers; and if their opponents abstained from hostilities, an expedition might be made against the Infidels. An intimation would be given them (the French and Venetians), in the name of the whole League, charging them to make peace within one month, as otherwise the League would declare open war against them. He said Venice should not run the risk of losing all her territory for the sake of Verona.
Answered that he could give no answer to this announcement, which required a reply from the Signory.
The Cardinal rejoined that the peace between France and Spain could not last, as the King Catholic would not delay marrying till the French Princess was of age. Should he form any other connexion, the King of France would endeavour to deprive him of Naples, and could do so the more easily, if Verona were in the Signory's hands.
Replied that a small force could not enter into Italy with the support of Verona, and a large one could do so in spite of it.
The Cardinal answered, “We do not choose to endure this obstacle;” and that, if France and Venice did not desist, their subjects would be forbidden to trade in the dominions of the confederates.
London, 13th November 1516.
[Italian, 4 lines, or 102 pages.]
Nov. 13. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 107. 808. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
After he had written the accompanying, the nuncio came to him. He said the Pope was not included in the League, and would not join it. The allies had determined to send the Cardinal of Sion to Rome, to exhort the Pope to adhere to it, promising to make Lorenzino [de' Medici] Lord of Florence, and invest him with the duchy of Urbino, Modena, and Reggio. He also stated that Bishop Colonna, (fn. 3) who was to have come here, had changed his intention, and would remain with the King Catholic, which was a sign that the Pope would not join the league. The nuncio desired the first part of his communication should be kept secret, and alluded to his former services to the State. It would be well for the State to offer him some church preferment, taking care to write about it in cipher, lest it should prove his ruin.
The Cardinal, in the conversation detailed in the accompanying, did not renew his proposal that the Signory should join the League.
London, 13th November 1516.
[Italian, 1¼ page, or 32 lines.]
Nov. 15. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 108. 809. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
As the Pope had refused to join the League, the ministry had given him six months more to decide. Sion would go to Rome. Did not believe the ministry would execute their threats, unless they had the support of the Pope and the Switzers. Had been told by his friend (Chieregato) that England was anxiously awaiting letters from the Signory. This accounted for the threats used by the Cardinal two days before. Chieregato also stated that within the past month only 60,000 crowns had been sent to the Emperor for Verona, and 30,000 to the Switzers for their annual stipend. The son-in-law of Galeazo Visconte, accredited to the Switzers by King Henry, had been dismissed, because Galeazo had induced certain cantons to side with the King of France.
Asked “the friend” (Chieregato) whether the protest against France and Venice would be made before or after the decision of the Pope and the Switzers. He said-their decision would not be waited for. Had obtained copies of the oath taken by King Henry [on 1st November], of the clause, and of the announcement transmitted to the Pope; and sent them herewith. The ministry were endeavouring to induce the King Catholic to take the Princess (Mary), and to repudiate the infant daughter of King Francis,
London, 15th November 1516.
[Italian, 2 pages, or 47 lines.]
Nov. 17. Sanuto Diaries, xxiii. p. 155. 810. Jacomo di Nodari, Proveditor at Cologna, to the Signory.
Dated 16 November.
Report at Verona that an agreement had been made between the Emperor, the King of Spain, the King of England, and the Switzers, and that the Emperor was at Constance.
Nov. 18. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 109. 811. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
Had been informed by “the friend” (Chieregato) that, in addition to the land forces destined for the invasion of France, the King had ordered the fitting out of a fleet of 60 sail, with which the Lord Marquis [of Dorset] was to attack the duchy of Guienne. The decision of the Swiss Diet was expected. A conference was being held in Scotland, to determine on war or peace.
The Bishop of Winchester had absented himself from Court, to avoid taking part in the present violent measures, but had at length returned. Visited him, and expressed a wish that his counsel might modify the policy against Venice. He replied that the confederacy was merely defensive, and that neither the King of England nor the King Catholic was inclined for war. The Bishop added that the Council had discussed the maintenance of the ancient friendly relations towards Venice.
London, 18th November 1516.
[Italian, 2¾ pages, or 66 lines.]
Nov. 22. Misti Consiglio X. v. xl. p. 139, tergo. 812. The Council of Ten and Junta to the Ambassador in France.
The enemies of France and Venice have promoted the negotiation for peace with the Emperor, in order to gain time, and thus free Verona from peril. Had Verona been taken, the Switzers would not have hesitated to make any terms with the most Christian King, for the Pope and others would not have supported them, and the King of England would not have listened to the Cardinal of Sion and others.
Ayes, 22. Noes, 6. Neutrals, 1.
[Italian, 71 lines.]
Nov. 22. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiii. p. 158. 813. Andrea Rosso, Venetian Secretary at Milan, to the State.
The King of France was not apprehensive about the affairs of England, because the Duke of Albany, the Regent of Scotland, had discovered a plot laid against him, at the instigation of the King of England, on which account the Duke had sent troops to the Borders.
The Cardinal of Sion had arrived in England.
Nov. 24. Sanuto Diaries v. xxiii. p. 166. 814. Marino Giorgio, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Signory.
Dated the 16th.
Having heard that the English ambassador had received letters from England announcing a certain proclamation of league, sent his secretary to Cardinal Bibiena (Cardinal de' Medici and the other Cardinals having accompanied the Pope to La Magnana), to know the truth. Bibiena said that the English ambassador had received letters dated the 2nd, informing him that a league had been proclaimed between the Emperor, the Catholic King, and the King of England for the defence of their respective territories, the term of six months being assigned to the Pope for his adhesion to it, and eight months to other republics and signories, and to the Switzers. The clause reserving admission for “republics and signories” had been inserted for the purpose of inducing Venice to join the league, although formed for the destruction of the King of France. The Cardinal of Sion had exhorted the King of England to aid the Emperor to defend Verona for two months, and his Majesty had sent him 38,000 Rhenish guilders, and 15,000 to the Switzers. The King of the Romans was expected in Flanders. The Cardinal of Sion was the cause of all that had taken place.
Nov. 24. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiii. p. 167. 815. The Same to the Same.
Dated the 19th.
The Pope having returned from La Magnana, he went to him on that day, and had audience after the English ambassador.
The Pope complained of King Francis, saying, amongst other things, “He reproaches us with having an understanding with the Cardinal of Sion, who is gone to England. You know that if we could lay hands on him we would imprison him, and we vow, by that holy chrism with which we are anointed, that we have no intercourse with him. He went to make mischief, and we know nothing further.”
The Pope then confirmed all the news from England as to the publication of the league, adding, “It would be well that we should form a compact mass, [viz.,] ourselves, the most Christian King, and the Signory. This being done, we will declare ourselves immediately, and in four days you would have Verona, as we understand it cannot hold out any longer; and this we tell you to keep secret, as none of the ambassadors are aware of it.”
Nov. 25. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiii. pp. 171, 172. 816. Andrea. Griti, Proveditor in the Venetian Camp at Villafranca, to the Signory.
Dated 23rd November.
Mons. d'Albret, Seigneur d'Orval, had written to King Francis, in date of Brussels, 12th November, that the King of England was sending the Emperor 60,000 crowns, and that the Cardinal of Sion was still in England.
Nov. 27. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiii. p. 176. 817. League negotiated in England.
Private letters from the merchants in England, dated London, 6th November, especially from Lorenzo Pasqualigo to his brothers, made no mention of the triple alliance.
Nov. 27. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiii. p. 176. 818. Andrea Griti, Proveditor in the Venetian Camp at Villafranca, to the Signory.
Dated 25th November.
Notifies contents of letters from the French ambassadors at Rome, dated 18th and 19th, shown to him by Mons. de Lautrec.
The Pope was hostile to King Francis, and did not credit any intelligence received from France, nor that the treaty of Noyon or the one with the Switzers had been sworn to; was of opinion that the league had been stipulated in England between Maximilian, King Charles, and King Henry; was intent on aggrandizing his nephew Lorenzino; meant to make him Duke of the Romagna, giving him Bologna and part of the kingdom of Naples; complained that King Francis would not allow him to seize Ferrara, though it belonged to the Church; and was negotiating a marriage between Lorenzino and an English woman. (fn. 4) The Pope complained also that King Francis had demanded 50,000 ducats of the Florentines, saying, “It was demanding them of us the Pope and of Lorenzino, Florence being his city as it were.” Inference drawn by the French ambassador at Rome that the Pope was ill disposed towards King Francis.


  • 1. “Item questo Sedunense ha affirmato a questa Maestà Messer Galeazo Visconte che se attrova cum Svisari per nome de la prefata Maestà haver tolto per mal modo de li danari regij che se dovea exbursar a Svizari più di 100 m. scudi et haver mostrato a. suo zeuero che è qui presente scripture de li Capitanei de Svizari che dechiarano questo effecto per il che sarà data licentia al prefato suo zenero de qui et cussi al prefato Messer Galeazo Visconte qual per quanto se afferma è instrument omnipotente cum Svizari.”
  • 2. Selim I. gave battle to the Egyptians near Aleppo, on the 24th August 1516, when the Soldan Kansou Algouri was killed.
  • 3. Pompeio Colonna, Bishop of Rieti. He was at Brussels in December; see Mr. Brewer's Calendar, vol. ii. no. 2640, 6th Dec. 1516.
  • 4. “Atende a far noze de dito Lorenzim in una d'Ingaltera.”